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The Art of Getting By 2011

Critics score:
18 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

David Germain, Associated Press: The players are not so much teens as miniature adults, dissecting their own natures with insightfulness that typically comes through decades of reflection, if it comes at all. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It's another wan tale of an anti-social teen who finds himself irresistible to the sweetest, prettiest girl in school. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ...a limp, lifeless and rote retread, utterly unconvincing in most of its New York details and so overly familiar it might as well have been titled 'Tadpole Goes Down an Infinite Playlist' Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Someday every overprivileged, misunderstood high school boy who has ever come of age in New York will have his own movie, and one good thing about "The Art of Getting By" is that it brings that day, the day we can move on to other matters, a little closer Read more

David Fear, Time Out: Ugh! For a movie devoted to an alleged geek-rebel underdog, this coming-of-age flick couldn't be more conformist... Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Though Highmore and Roberts are appealing performers, Wiesen never gives us much reason to care about them. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Like Highmore's character, The Art Of Getting By takes a frustratingly long time to commit to any choices. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: You wouldn't surf past "Say Anything" to find it, but "Art" is a decent-enough entry in an overcrowded genre. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: To paraphrase Tolstoy (or, really, to mash up Tolstoy with J.D. Salinger), all unhappy adolescences are alike - or at least they look that way when condensed into 90-odd minutes of privileged self-pity. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: For all his reliance on teen-movie formula, writer-director Gavin Wiesen is surprisingly adept at depicting messy emotions and capturing the spontaneity of adolescence. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Every scene, and nearly every moment, makes you wonder if Wiesen has talent. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Even slumped over Camus, Highmore's a charmer -- and he carries the movie well on his slim shoulders. Read more

Gary Dowell, Dallas Morning News: Hollow and pretentious. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: The Art of Getting By wants to be sweet and insightful, but ends up scattered and slight. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Old Holden would call the whole movie phony, and I agree, if you want to know the truth. Read more

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: The chief function of this trite debut feature appears to be as a job application for its writer-director to join the Hollywood rom-com assembly line. Read more

Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times: A charm-free wisp of a movie about that most annoying of recent archetypes: the mopey, privileged adolescent. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A dull yet extremely self-important drama about rich, badly parented kids who feel sorry for themselves. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: There are several lessons to be learned in "The Art of Getting By," though all arrive too late to save this well-meaning but dreadfully executed movie. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A half-baked little movie that proves indies can be every bit as boringly formulaic and artistically bankrupt as their big-budget brethren. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Unlike most recent coming-of-age movies, this one gets by on more than capricious eccentricity and sentimentality. It has something called heart. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: At the end, I was wondering, what is the point? Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: In his writing/directing debut, Gavin Wiesen is both shamelessly derivative and inept. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Smart and sweet enough to become the favorite film of some Midwestern adolescent who wrongly believes he's already seen the dark side. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: The vapidity of The Art of Getting By goes beyond the anthill-sized dramatic stakes. The dialogue, while occasionally epigrammatic, is tone-deaf to individual speech rhythms. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Though it doesn't fully resonate as a romance, it is effective as a character study. Read more

John Anderson, Variety: Facile, formulaic and utterly charm-free. Read more

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice: Gavin Wiesen's first film, as passive and vanilla as its title, continues the numbing trendlet begun in 2008 with Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: dramatizing the stupefying dullness of privileged white teenagers in New York City. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: For anyone not in a similar state of age-related solipsism - i.e., anyone outside the 16- to 25-year-old age bracket - this is more than a little annoying. Read more